Remember I said I had a vacation booked? The Seychelles are absolutely mind blowingly beautiful.
April 20th 1990; Mahe, Seychelles, Rays Rock. It was a hot sunny day with a gentle breeze, I was just itching to get in.
The hotel had a small reef in front of it, it took about 5 minutes after arriving to grab my suit, fins etc. and I was in, all I could say was WOW! This was the first time I had seen anything like this, there were fish everywhere and such amazing colours. It was almost as if they had been painted especially for the tourists.
Our dive master gave the brief and in we went, obviously still a novice diver I was quite happy to settle on the indicated sandy patch and drink it all in. No my mask wasn’t leaking……. the fact that I could see for what seemed like miles and so much to see.
I still have a distinct memory of watching a school of tiny, tiny, neon striped fish swimming through a small coral head, I can still bring the picture to mind. This was just the beginning; the Divemaster herded us up and took us to the reef proper……….
That was it, I was hooked line and sinker forever! I had never imagined so many fish, so many different shapes, patterns, sizes, the “rocks” were all different too. My mouth would have been hanging ajar if I didn’t have a regulator in it.
I had become used to the sound of breathing and bubbles, now I became aware of other sounds, little clicks and grunts. I swear I could hear that parrot fish chomping on the piece of coral he had just bitten off.
A frantic banging pulled me away from all those fish to the divemaster gesturing frantically to my left……….. Sure enough there was my first Turtle, we must have disturbed his morning nap. He slowly moved up and away, passing almost close enough to touch. I remember thinking can it get any better than this?
I know it can, because there is always another First!